Carole Bulewski Q&A

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A collection of interviews with super talented writer, artist, musician, singer Carole Bulewski. First is the most recent 4th November 2021

QUESTION 1: What or who is the Little God of Queen’s Park?

CAROLE: Lilith, a spirit observing the comings and goings of the people who live in the London Queen’s Park house that served as background for the previous two books of the trilogy.

Is the spirit evil or benevolent? She holds the key to changing the future, but which way will she go?

 

QUESTION 2: Again, without too many spoilers what is Little God of Queen’s Park all about?

CAROLE: In the near future, the world order has collapsed following an environmental disaster, known as The Flood.

The characters of the previous two books are trying to adapt to the new society and its many perils.

They find themselves at the centre of a plot that could make people’s lives even worse. That’s when Lilith intervenes.

 

QUESTION 3: This is the third book of the trilogy I believe, will all the loose ends be tied up, or is there room for another chapter in the series?

CAROLE: All loose ends tied up and no project for a new chapter in the series so far.

The next novel, however, will be tied to The Little God, although with entirely new characters and settings.

 

QUESTION 4:  What age group do you think will get the most enjoyment out of your books?

CAROLE: I don’t think my books are targeted for a particular age group?

 

QUESTION 5: Who is your favourite character in the entire trilogy and why?

CAROLE: Iris of course, as she’s in all three books and is the narrator for two of them. I am also rather fond of Sampson, the narrator of the second novel.

 

QUESTION 6: As a writer do you think about your characters a lot? Do they ever take over and write themselves?

CAROLE: I do yes, at first. But they do sometimes take over when I ‘let go’ and start going into directions I hadn’t planned. I see where it takes me, and if it works out, then all the better. It doesn’t work sometimes, and it’s important to admit when it was a mistake, delete, and start again.

 

QUESTION 7:  What originally inspired you to become a writer?

CAROLE: It never was a question for me, from a young age. I just had to do it.

QUESTION 8:  This series of books covers so many things, mental health, what would you say makes your book stand out from other books?

CAROLE: As you say, the mental health aspect. The link between the horror genre and mental health. I’m not the first to do this obviously, but hopefully I’m doing it without trying to imitate anyone else.

 

QUESTION 9: Which established writers would you compare yourself to and why?

CAROLE: I’d like to compare myself with Anne Rice maybe? But less strictly horror.

 

QUESTION 10:  You’ve been a very prolific writer, how many books in how many years is it & how has covid and lockdown changed your writing routine?

CAROLE: Five in five years! No change with lockdown. It doesn’t matter if you can go outside or not, it’s still difficult to sit in front of that computer.

 

QUESTION 11:  How did you plan your story arcs over multiple novels?

CAROLE: I never planned for a trilogy. But after finishing The Piper and the Fairy, I felt I wasn’t done with the characters and wanted to explore what happened to them later in life.

 

QUESTION 12:  What do you think makes a great character?

CAROLE: Relatable. Honest. With defects of character they’ll admit to.

 

QUESTION 13:  There is a lot of depth in your books. Do you do research for your books? How do you make the reader feel as they are embodied into the book?

CAROLE: I do some research, in particular in terms of historical facts. But I also try not to dump all the knowledge on to the readers, and try instead to have the research become part of the story.

 

QUESTION 14: If a TV show or movie were to be made of your Queen’s Park series of books which actors would you like to play the main characters?

CAROLE: Young unknown actors I guess.

 

QUESTION 15:  How do you feel your writing has developed over the trilogy of books?

CAROLE: The Piper and the Fairy took me years to write and was very autobiographical. The next two books two about 6 months to write and are entirely a work of imagination.

 

QUESTION 16: What do you enjoy most about writing?

CAROLE: Some days, nothing. Some days, forgetting everything that is not the writing and going into a world of my own in a relatively safe way.

 

QUESTION 17:  You are an accomplished artist too, with two art books published, how did that come about, and do you plan to do more?

CAROLE: I started drawing for therapeutic reasons, and realised I wanted to continue explore it with painting, especially oil painting.

I’m a work in progress when it comes to painting, but I’m lucky to have very supportive artist friends who encourage me to continue exploring this avenue.

 

 QUESTION 18: You’ve had a successful music career for some time now with Firefay, how do you find all the time and combine the music?

CAROLE: I never rest.

 

QUESTION 19:  What type of music does Firefay play? And do you have any new music coming out soon?

CAROLE: It’s folk-based, but not just British folk, I’d say it’s a mix of folk from different countries.

Music has taken a step back with the pandemic, but we’ve now got a few tracks to start working on.

The next album will be more psychedelic I believe.

 

QUESTION 20:  I love psychedelic, you are a singer with the band Firefay can you play musical instruments?

CAROLE: I play the piano and recently started composing on the autoharp. I used to play drums but it’s been a while. Great instrument though.

 

QUESTION 21:  I love a good bang on the drums. You are so talented, great writer, artist, singer, the big question should be what can’t you do? Dance? Please tell me you’ve got two left feet. Lol

CAROLE: I’m not a great dancer but I can dance to music I like in a gig. Not a ballroom dancer though!

 

QUESTION 22:  The cover for Little God is a work of art, who designed it and how much input do you have in the cover designs? 

CAROLE: As always, Alban Low @albanart designed the cover. We do chat beforehand. Alban comes back with what I had in mind, and yet it’s also completely surprising.

 

QUESTION 23:  Your writing isn’t just in novels, you’ve had a lot of success with a short film and play you’ve written, tell us all about that?

CAROLE: I started writing a play about 3 years ago, about the life of French sculptor Camille Claudel. Took it to the stage with music accompaniment and loved it.

So I wrote a second one, the story of a regular young woman during the Spanish Civil War, based on the story of different family members.

We then made a short film based on the play – that’s @JackJuddFilm for direction, @farserparty for the music and I.

 

QUESTION 24:  And it’s won a prestigious award in Austin Texas film short film awards how did that make you feel?

CAROLE: Yes, a couple of weeks ago. Nice to see, especially for a first try.

 

QUESTION 25: And you are taking it to the stage, when and where can we see that?

CAROLE: Yes hopefully in April next year, at the Bread & Roses in Clapham, London.

 

QUESTION 26:I so hope to be there to see it. Looking to the future are you looking to do more film scripts and plays?

CAROLE: Most definitely. With a little help from people who know what they’re doing!

 

QUESTION 27  But you will keep writing your fab books, a little bird tells me a classic horror is in the pipeline, what can you tell us about that?

CAROLE: I have a particular fondness for 70s horror films, and that’s the sort of thing I want to write in my next book. The atmosphere, the light touches of horror. The music, too, of course.

 

QUESTION 28:  We love your books, and you are such a talented writer, how do you handle praise and critique?

CAROLE: I’m thick-skinned and not very good at handling praise. Find it difficult to believe J

 

QUESTION 29: This is a great trilogy and we planning to publish it in the future as a one book trilogy and even a hard back, is that exciting?

CAROLE: It’ll be great to see the way the characters progress over the three books!

 

QUESTION 30:  What goals do you have as a writer?

CAROLE: Never repeat myself. Explore new avenues with writing.

 

QUESTION 31: What do you feel readers will get out of and enjoy most about the Little God of Queen’s Park trilogy?

CAROLE: Whilst being all about escapism, I hope it will also make people think about the crucial issues of climate change.

 

QUESTION 32:  What tips to writers would you give to help with their writing or getting published?

CAROLE: Write, all the time, and don’t wait for the inspiration to come to you, because it won’t. Or if it does, it will be very sporadically.

This interview below with Carole Bulewski. Was early 2021

QUESTION 1: What or who inspired you to be a writer?

CAROLE: Finding an unfinished illustrated fairy tale story my dad had started as a child when I was seven years old and deciding to complete it.

QUESTION 2: What do you like most about writing?

CAROLE: When all the elements of the story start falling into place. Also, when characters start taking a life of their own.

QUESTION 3: What writing projects are you working on?

CAROLE: I have just completed a dystopian novel, The House of a Thousand Dreams, and I’m starting to put together the main lines of a straight horror story, 1970s-style.

 

QUESTION 4: What other writers would you compare your style to?

CAROLE: It’s difficult for me to say, as I am relatively new to writing in English. In French, my native language, I think I was influenced by Colette, like many female writers. I’ve been told my style is somewhat reminiscent of that of Anais Nin – without the erotica element.

 

QUESTION 5: What is your writing process?

CAROLE: It generally follows a pattern. Initial idea, building it up, researching it to add some meat, brief outline, and then I start writing.

 

QUESTION 6: What's your favourite book of all time?

CAROLE: Too many to mention. But maybe if I had to pick one, it’d be Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.

 

QUESTION 7: Who is your favourite writer and why?

CAROLE: Again, too many to mention. Hermann Hesse, Colette. In terms of horror writers, other than the Master Stephen King, Susan Hill, Stephen Gregory, Anne Rice.

 

QUESTION 8: Where do you see your writing in five years’ time?

CAROLE: Of late I have been working on plays, and I think I will try to develop this, as well as get started on writing screenplays.

 

QUESTION 9: Tell us a little something about yourself?

CAROLE: I pursue artistic avenues other than writing, music in particular with my world-folk band Firefay, and painting. I also have a passion for history and currently have a podcast on the life of Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, called “Spartacus’s Daughter”.

 

QUESTION 10: If you weren’t a writer, what career would you have loved and why?

CAROLE: By day, I’m a medical writer, which feeds into the more logical side of my brain. I guess it gives me a good balance.

 

QUESTION 11: What one, key writing tip would you share?

CAROLE: Write that first draft. Then edit, edit, edit.

 

QUESTION 12: What would you say to educate or inspire new writers?

CAROLE: Inspiration doesn’t always come. Just be curious about everything and it will strike, eventually.

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